John Sides

John Sides is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University.

Recent Articles

Belgium Has a Federal Government

It only took 18 months. Here’s a Wall Street Journal story . Hat tip to David Fortunato. Here’s his earlier post on the subject.

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Seat Bonuses Confirmed

More from Andrew Reynolds : Yesterday on the Monkey Cage I predicted how parties would split the first 168 seats up for grabs in the Egyptian People’s Assembly. We now have preliminary results from the run-off races in all bar two of the 56 majority district seats being contested. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has done a little better than I predicted, the Salafi Nour party a little worse. One tiny ray of sunshine for the liberals is that the Revolution Continues alliance picked up a few more seats than might have been expected. Indeed, liberal and secular candidates came from second place to win five seats in the run-offs held this week. The FPJ did better than I predicted. Results reported in the Egyptian media today show that the second place candidate from the first round overtook the frontrunner to win the seat in 13 of the run-off races. The FJP were overtaken in three races by liberals and by a Nour candidate in another. But FJP candidates came from behind...

The Decline of the Postal Service and the Decline of Direct Mail

While the effective demise of other first-class correspondence has strengthened political mail so far, the broader obsolescence of the mail gives reason for long-term concerns. Campaigns have timed their mail programs under the assumption that voters check their mailboxes daily. This week’s announcement by the postal service that it would eliminate next-day delivery guarantees for first-class mail will only make the post even less popular for time-sensitive communication like magazines, birthday cards, and Netflix discs. The possibility that nothing urgent ever arrives scares political consultants—young voters may never develop the habit of regularly looking in their mailboxes. From Sasha Issenberg’s new blog at Slate. Even after only two posts, it’s a must-read. Here also is a post on prejudice toward blacks and Mormons, featuring some political science research.

Blogging at Behind the Numbers

Dan Hopkins , Danny Hayes , and I will be contributing regularly to Behind the Numbers, the polling blog of the Washington Post . The announcement is here . We hope to be contributing discussion of new scholarly literature as well as our own analyses of polling data from the Post and others. We thank Jon Cohen and the rest of the Post’s polling team for the opportunity. Danny’s first post—on public opinion about a military attack on Iran—is here .

Did Race Cost Obama in 2008?

Erik recently blogged about a new paper (pdf) by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz that used Google searches to measure racial prejudice in American media markets and found this: The estimates imply that racial animus in the United States cost Obama three to five percentage points in the national popular vote in the 2008 election. The Google methodology is a viable way to grapple with people’s unwillingness to reveal racial prejudice in polls and surveys. Of course, one can criticize it—as Rebecca Greenfield does here —but an even better strategy is simply to see if Stephens-Davidowitz’s results are confirmed by recently published research using other kinds of measures. Here’s an example, from a recent paper in Political Psychology by political scientist Brian Schaffner ( ungated ; see also the rest of the issue , also ungated thanks to Wiley-Blackwell publishers): In this paper, I introduce a relatively unobtrusive measure of racial salience to examine whether these initial interpretations...

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